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Huntley Film Archive - Unique Jewish London Archive

6 March 2008

Huntley Film Archive is delighted to have acquired, (in an amazing and record breaking year of acquisition) four films produced and directed by the film-maker Naomi Gryn, daughter of Rabbi Hugo Gryn. It offers a wonderful intimate record of Jewish life in the 1980’s.

Huntley Film Archive is delighted to have acquired, (in an amazing and record breaking year of acquisition) four films produced and directed by the film-maker Naomi Gryn, daughter of Rabbi Hugo Gryn. It offers a wonderful intimate record of Jewish life in the 1980’s.

Three of the films were documentaries made for Channel 4. The Sabbath Bride (1987) follows the order of a traditional Shabbat for Jewish Londoners. It begins with a candlelit procession for the presentation of a new Torah Scroll to the Adeni synagogue in Stamford Hill and features interviews with rabbis and with members of the Orthodox, Reform, Sephardi and Ashkenadi communities about the meaning of the Sabbath. The interviewees include the cartoonist Harry Blacker (Nero). It features services in beautiful synagogues and a family preparing and celebrating the Sabbath meal together. Aspects of everyday Jewish north London life include a beigel bakery and work in the offices of the Jewish Chronicle, the rag trade, shops and cafes, markets, and a hairdressers as well as various street scenes in north London and the West End. The film features Colin “Longhair” Lester who went on to manage Travis, and Rabbi Jonathan Sacks and his mother Libby.

Chasing Shadows (1990) takes Naomi’s father, Rabbi Hugo Gryn, back to Berehovo in Carpathia (modern day Ukraine), to the home he left in 1944 when he was deported to Auschwitz with his family and 15000 other Jews. He recalls his happy pre-war childhood and the way of life there in the 1930s when Jews and gypsies lived alongside each other before the region was ceded to fascist Hungary in 1938.

The Star, the Castle and the Butterfly is a Jewish history of Prague, filmed six months before the Velvet Revolution of 1989. Rabbi Hugo Gryn visits some of its most evocative sites.

And You Shall Teach Them Diligently
(1986) was made for the 100 th anniversary of the Sunday School of the West London Synagogue in Seymour Place, London and looks at the work of the Sunday School. Its pupils included Amy and Adam Rosenthal, children of Maureen Lipman and the playwright Jack Rosenthal, and the family are interviewed in the film. Also featured are Tim and Eleanor Angel and their family, the owners of Angels Costumes.

Contact Fiona Kelly at Huntley Film Archives for more details and licencing. www.huntleyarchives.com